Archive for September, 2008
Jeff Baker is the creator of the ultimate storage device, the memory crystal. Able to hold masses of information, it has caused the downfall of copyright: everything is now public access. With this freedom the world is living in an age where anything can be stored, from constant security footage to the entire backlog of all media ever created. But Jeff is not only famous for the creation of this crystal, his fame comes from the fact that he didn’t patent the crystal and gave away the technology to whoever could build it, making him known the world over.
Now, after years of research, rejuvenation is possible. Jeff is chosen as the first subject because of his past achievements and also the promise of working toward a superconductor once treatment is complete. After months being rejuvenated Jeff wakes up to a face he hasn’t seen in fifty years, with family and friends having to adjust to his younger appearance, new outlook on life and behaviour to go with it.
Misspent Youth is the story of one family’s experiences after a historic landmark and all the problems and consequences thrown up by it.
The world created by Peter is once again full of ideas and has a history that is evident in the writing. This is something that I always enjoy when getting into one of Peter’s novels – I don’t want a flat world that isn’t alive past the immediate surroundings of a scene. Some of the highlights of the novel are the background things – an ongoing race to get a commercial vehicle to space, the build up to the European presidential election and the imminent (and superbly realised) Million Citizen march in London. Combine this with a history where copyright has crumbled and all data is free in a society with instant access to anything you can imagine and you’ve got a great setting, one that doesn’t come much better.
Of course, this helps to set the tone of the novel, which is noticeably split due to the perspectives it is told through. Jeff, a 78-year-old with a brand new body already has lifetime of experiences, and now with a youthful body he knows how to get what he wants, if not always how to do it the right way. Jeff can be a nice character at times, while at others he just doesn’t seem to think straight and the actions caused by this lead to some very interesting and awkward situations. Tim, Jeff’s son, is just 18 and has his fair share of problems when it comes to girls and partying. Because of this he can be more than a little annoying at times, although he does have some redeeming qualities that are enough to make him bearable and someone you can relate to.
Most other characters are a joy to read, although the exception is Annabelle, Tim’s first love. Without giving anything away, she certainly doesn’t appear to care much for those she hurts. I’m sure everyone out the knows someone like Annabelle – a slapper with no care of how her actions affect others. Perhaps a little harsh, but she isn’t a likable character and the weak link.
Despite all the faults with the characters, they are what they are, and the story just wouldn’t be as effective without them.
I guess you could say that Misspent Youth is double-edged sword when it comes down to it. A great setting and story that can be hampered at times by the characters. From Peter’s past works many will come to this expecting something it isn’t, an action filled space opera. However, come to this with no expectations and read the book for what it is and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
Overall rating: 8/10
Sep 25 2008
Peter will only be doing the one signing this year for The Temporal Void in Buy the Book in Oakham High Street on Saturday, October 4th from 10am to 11am. As usual, all are welcome and are reminded to bring all books old and new for signing.
A new interview with Peter is up on the Guardian website (and in G2 today if you picked it up). Have a read, and a listen, here!
A quick update with some good news for anyone that has entered the competition to win one of five copies of The Temporal Void, and another incentive if you’ve yet to do so. I received word from Peter that the copies up for grabs will now be signed, so what was a great prize is now even better! Good luck to all entrants, although you’ve still got until 30th September to enter.
Sep 13 2008
A couple of updates today. First, head over to Dave Brendon’s blog to see an interview with Peter. Some good questions and answers. Bookmark this blog, Dave has got some great interviews and other content up there!
The only other thing that is of note before The Temporal Void is out on October 3rd is the US release of Misspent Youth by Del Rey on September 16th. As this edition should have some small re-writes I’ll be interested in reading it again to see these. I’m having some trouble trying to find out where I can get hold of it in the UK, so if anyone can see a reliable seller that has it anywhere please let me know (check contact page for details), it’s my birthday on the 20th so would love to try and get this as a present to myself.
Sep 04 2008
In support of the upcoming UK release (October 3rd) of The Temporal Void and with many thanks to Pan Macmillan I’ve got five hardback copies of Peter F Hamilton’s new novel up for grabs – for your chance to win one of these simply check out the information below.
Rules and information:
Closing date: 30/9/08 – any entries received after this date will not be counted.
If you’ve got any questions just email on the above address and I’ll be happy to help.
Time for some information on competitions that are about at the moment, check out the details below:
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist also has some news of upcoming competitions, including winning a copy of the US re-release of The Reality Dysfunction, the US release of Misspent Youth and the UK release of The Temporal Void. Keep on checking the site for the chance to enter.
Make sure you keep visiting here, I’ll be putting up a competition later this week for the chance to win one of 5 copies of The Temporal Void, courtesy of Pan Macmillan.
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